Suicidality and Self-Injury in Middle School. SOS Signs of Suicide ® Program Screening for Mental Health, Inc. Screening for Mental Health, Inc. 1991: Pioneered the concept of large scale mental health screening with National Depression Screening Day. SMH Programs include:
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SOS Signs of Suicide® Program
Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
CDC Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2003
-Adapted from the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center
Access To Weapons
-National Institute for Mental Health, 2005
-AACAP, The Depressed Child
-http://pbskids.org/itsmylife * list is not all inclusive
Decrease the incidence of self-injury, suicide attempts, unrecognized depression, and the number of youth who die by suicide
Encourage individual help seeking, as well as help seeking on behalf of a friend
Increase knowledge and adaptive attitudes about depression, suicidality, and self-injury
Reduce stigma associated with mental health problems by communicating that these problems are treatable
Show the “Get Into the ACT” video and facilitate a discussion
Review the signs of suicide and depression.
Answer questions, dispel myths
Review the school policy for handling students who disclose suicidal intent
Review school and community resources.
Distribute protocol for what to do when approached by students asking for help
“Feed them and they will come.”
Training faculty and staff is universally advocated and essential to a suicide prevention program.
Research indicates that training faculty and staff can produce positive effects on an educator’s knowledge, attitudes and referral practice.
Smith, T & Smith V., Lazear, K, Roggenbaum, S., & Doan, J., 2003.
Staff in-service lecture
Guidelines for teachers and school clinicians for responding to youth who self-injure (Self-injury Packet)
Parent Newsletter for staff who are parents
Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) for school staff to use with individual students seeking help
Schools must prepare staff as students may disclose to any adult.
Train to increase school staff’s knowledge about:
SOS program: why, when, where, how
School and community based mental health resources
School protocol for providing help for at-risk youth
“Suicide is not a problem in our school.”
“Schools are not appropriate for suicide prevention programs.”
“The program may introduce the idea to students.”
“I don’t have enough staff or time.”
“We have problems making referrals.”
“I don’t agree with labeling youth.”
“We already have a suicide prevention program.”
No school is immune to adolescent suicide.
Depression has been linked to poor school performance, substance abuse, running away, and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.
Integrating the topics of depression and suicide in a health curriculum can reduce stigma associated with these problems and can create a supportive atmosphere.
The program can be used flexibly using existing resources and partnering with community providers.
Identifying needs can justify funding and/or partnerships. Share resources within school districts. Establish relationship with existing providers.
Implementing the SOS program does not result in diagnosis. Decisions about diagnosis and treatment are made between a doctor and a patient, and, in the case of minors, the parent/guardian(s).
For more information about the SOS Middle School or the SOS High School program, please reach us at:781-239-0071sosinfo@MentalHealthScreening.orgOr visit:www.MentalHealthScreening.org/schools
Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
One Washington Street, Suite 304 Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
Phone: 781.239.0071 Fax: 781.431.7447